As someone who has spent the vast majority of my Friday nights ever since I was a teenager grinding my face off toward whatever goal I had set for myself, let me share some of the ways I have learned to make the Friday grind more fun.
One of the things that make continuing to work on a Friday so difficult is when you try to treat it like any other weekday.
The truth is, we are not robots. We need to reward ourselves a little bit in order to change up the flow and treat the night differently. That way, we don’t feel left out.
Reward yourself by buying dinner wherever it is you’re craving. That’s easily the best way to make the day feel different and to get you moving in a positive direction.
Treat yourself, and if you’re really feeling crazy, maybe even get some dessert too.
Turn on a silent movie.
This is something that made me feel a lot less alone as a teenager — and is a tactic I still use today.
Back then, I devoted every single Friday night to sitting in front of my computer grinding out some mind-numbing quest in the World of Warcraft with the hopes of achieving a reward, acquiring better gear, and ultimately becoming one of the highest-ranked gamers in the nation (which I did eventually achieve — I even wrote a book about it.).
Sometimes, all you need is a movie playing on mute in the background to make you feel like you’re having a chill night at home. Turn on something that you have seen too many times to count so that you don’t feel distracted to actually watch it, and just let it run. And don’t be surprised if you end up watching it three times straight through that night.
What matters is that you actually get work done anyway.
Work alongside a friend.
This can be a difficult one to execute because it requires the right kind of friendship, but if you have this sort of person in your life, do this as often as possible.
Find someone you can work alongside effectively and productively and make a night of hanging out. Again, this shouldn’t be someone where the majority of your time ends up being spent talking and then watching whatever movie you have playing in the background.
The goal here is to work with someone who has similar goals as you, or even someone you are collaborating on a project with so that you can both get as much done as possible — together.
Make it a creative night.
Something I write about a lot is the importance of making time to stretch your creative muscles and not always try to “get things done.”
If you still want to feel somewhat productive but just can’t get into your flow that day, make it a creative night.
Draw. Play the guitar. Watch a documentary somewhat relevant to whatever your venture is related to. Do something that will spark your creativity and get you thinking in a different direction.
The majority of the time, whenever I feel uninspired on a Friday night and decide to start doing something more creative just for the sake of it, thirty minutes later I feel completely refreshed and often dive right back into the work.
Do all of the above.
I’ll be honest: most Friday nights when I stay in to work on whatever thing I am currently working on (which is most Friday nights), I do all of the above.
I treat myself to a nice dinner — which I usually order To Go. I make myself a pot of coffee. I turn on a movie in the background (Star Wars or Wolf of Wall Street are two great go-to movies). I de-stress by making music, or journaling for twenty minutes before I really look hard at what it is I need to make progress on.
And some nights, if it’s the right fit for what I am working on, I will get together with a friend or two and we will usually get out a whiteboard and think through the projects we’re working on.
Just because everybody else goes out on Friday nights doesn’t mean you have to.
If you would rather work on something that means a lot to you, then I suggest trying the above to cease any sort of “Fear Of Missing Out” from happening.
This article originally appeared on Medium.